Tuomas aka Zutsuu/Teknoaidi is a Finnish hardcore techno/speedcore musician and artist. He is part of an underground music community in Finland called ‘Kovaydin.NET’ (as in Kovaydin Network or Hardcore Network in English). Though Hardcore and Speedcore tends to have an aggressive and antagonistic reputation, Tuomas brings new ideas concerning sound therapy, global consciousness and spirituality to the scene. Shamanic music can also be extreme and there is potential for ideas to infiltrate into new scenes in order to stimulate new levels of consciousness not often experienced in our standard reality frames. It provides a catalyst for new ideas and new energies to emerge. Tuomas talks about his project and his influences from the dream and spirit realms.
‘Shamancore’ is just a term for the music I make and words are not that important in the end. I guess the respectable thing to say with regards to indigenous tribes would be that I’m a practitioner of my own form of shamanism, but not a shaman per se. It should also be noted that there are wisemen, wisewomen, witches, voodoo priests and other healers in various cultures who are basically doing the same thing or something very similar, but they have their own words for their profession. What matters is the process.
I first came in contact with hardcore in late 1990’s when I was living in The Netherlands with my family. It only clicked later in 2003 when I began researching alternative Electronic Dance Music genres and I remembered the Thunderdome (hardcore techno/gabber festival and compilation CD’s) hype I experienced in my school there where the kids listened to the music and bought merchandise. The time was right, I received a calling for ‘-core’ music, and within a few years I got more deeply into it and all the subgenres. I was attracted to the powerful energy and breaking limitations; most music has been limited to a very narrow BPM (beats per minute) range. I adopted some of the subculture identity during the early stages of my involvement in hardcore, but later it became not so much about the identity for me but about the energy and limitless possibilities in experimentation.
Around 2011 I began playing with the idea of shamanistic music and hardcore and I realized that they had a lot in common. There was often a fast repetitive beat of over 200 BPM. I started combining folk and world-music elements as well. Often, fast contemporary music from the past 40 or so years have handled themes facing one’s inner demons and the trauma of oppression by the governments and religions. I think they are important things to handle too but I wanted to do a more positive alternative; forgive the past, move forward and manifest something more loving in the present. So I started to do “shamancore” for healing purposes.
I believe that thoughts and intention affect how we experience our environment. There is lots of research about it out there, so I will not go into that more deeply but I would personally recommend David Wilcock’s book “The Source Field Investigations”, because it combines the works of many researchers together. Rupert Sheldrake’s work and The Maharishi Effect are also worth looking into. One of the key points of shamancore is positive thought and intention. This can be in the form of samples or just the track titles for example. I try to communicate more unconditional love and less ego aspects of me as an artist. Sound-wise I try to mix harmonious electronic and acoustic sounds together with high tempo ‘core’ beats. Elements that have been used for thousands of years for healing, such as throat singing, jew’s harp and prayer bowls to name a few are all about tuning into certain healing frequencies, or elements that have only been discovered recently. I like to use these elements in the form of samples or in live improvisation when there is a possibility. Today we have things like electronic brainwave entrainment research (binaural beats, isochronic tones) that is basically doing the same thing, but with machines. It’s interesting to note that a high tempo plays an important role with isochronic tones, like in hardcore techno and speedcore. Other than those, just improvising with intuition and getting a feeling of what sounds good (synths, feedback effects etc).
A perhaps less harmonious element I utilise is noise and distortion but I believe that they are also healing. It does not necessarily have the same kind of healing effects as harmonic soothing sounds, but it helps in different ways. When you experience it awake it helps you to stay in this moment and feel an euphoric rush of energy go through your body (for those who find it enjoyable of course). Life is all about overcoming the challenges that we came to face in life and noise is one challenge on the spiritual path that one might love or hate. Challenges are to be embraced because they teach you how to advance forward. I believe that noise itself is just pure energy, so the intention that you put in it is also important. As a lucid dream practitioner I’ve often experienced noise in my head prior to entering the dream world or getting an out-of-body-experience. Most people who have had lucid dreams have also experienced this and many find it scary and annoying, but I personally see noise and distortion more like a gateway between this reality and the dream reality. It’s kind of like testing if you are ready to go to the next level. I’ve started to love it as “a travelling device”. Dreams have very important messages to share.
The dreams show different objects that symbolize some aspect of yourself or something that you are going through at the moment and how to improve yourself. I use the Dream Moods dictionary almost every morning to check on the meaning of my dreams. I sometimes also have contact with spirit guides when I’m lucid dreaming. They tell about my past, present and future in symbolic ways (the dream world happens in the past, present and future, there’s no time). Sometimes they help me to face with issues that I’m going through in this reality. Of course it should be noted that the symbols may not always be the same for everyone as dreams are a very personal experience. For example some see spirit guides as guardian angels or just pure energy. I see them as ordinary people myself.
The chatter inside the mind during the dreams and immediately after waking up can seem totally random and make no sense, but it’s good to write these things down. I have had experiences of these seemingly random words predicting the future. Looking back at my writings and finding myself communicating with a person who has a certain predicted name or playing a certain game with a title that was predicted for example when these words didn’t have any special meaning for me initially. Dream journal is also good for understanding and memorizing dreams and it becomes easier to face those nightmare creatures that are chasing you, give them a big hug and the fear goes away.
With regards to keeping underground, our events are advertised very publicly online and we welcome everyone who can handle them. We are not keeping the community small purposely. When most people read the party description they just think that it’s not their thing because the sounds and energies are too intense to handle. Uncompromised and intuitive events attract intuitive people. I hope that the media could discuss raves in a more constructive manner, like rock festival reviews for example in which they concentrate in the music that was played and not how many arrests there were due to illegal drugs. Publicity is good, no matter what it is, if it can be done in an objective manner. If it can teach the larger public about the real nature of what goes on at raves and why.
Overall, I hope to inspire others to follow their intuition and do something similar! It can be anything. I just recently bought myself a traditional Finnish shaman drum and I’ve been playing and experimenting with it. I hope to bring more acoustic elements in my live performance in the future, but I’m still in the middle of figuring out the best way to make it work. The performance might also involve more people, who knows. I have planned with a few friends to take over the parks and forests around Tampere this summer with drums and portable noiseboxes!